Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Zwift Logo

After using Zwift for a few weeks I can say I am still impressed. For the first 2 weeks I used Zwift with a Heart Rate, Speed Sensor and Cyclops Fluid 2 Trainer. In this time the only frustration I would have are during sprints the software would detect wheel slippage and I would lose 2 seconds for everything to come back as it wouldn’t register power for that time.

ea386e94-62b9-49db-b9e3-e986bfd20b9eThe solution came when a year of saving up payed off.

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I got my Stages Power Meter!

Now the tire slippage doesn’t matter anymore.  Zwift is reading directly from the power meter.  I didn’t buy the Stages power meter for zwift.  This was planned for over a year.  I am very happy with it for the 2 weeks I have had the power meter indoors as well as outdoors.  This has definitely taken away my frustrations with Zwift.

So far in Zwift I have racked up a few achievements and new gear.  The Facebook group Zwift Riders is the place to be for discussions.  Zwift changes the dynamic of riding indoors for me so much that I even run it when I am doing a trainer video and over lay the video on the left side of the screen.

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Since the Gran Fondo I took some time off and started riding a once a week group ride.  I feel like a slacker compared to the training I was doing.  Now to change gears.

I am just enjoying the bike right now ith 4-5 group rides a week.  I run one 4 days a week in the early morning and it is a great start to the day.  My next big event is not until September so Im just going to have fun until August then start the heavy training again.

In the meantime I have a friend that just got his first road bike and will be helping him out.  I will be more of a social rider for now.  I think it is good for the family and y mind at the time so ENJOY YOUR BIKE!

Be safe out there


The event was amazing from start to finish!
Friday I went to NYC to the bike expo to pick up my packet. It couldn’t have been more convenient being directly across from Penn Station. While waiting for it to open we had some nice friendly chatter on line talking about everything from weather, food, training,bikes, and expectations of the event. I got inside and was wowed (is that even a word?). They were so organized! You find your name on the board to get your number. Then you go to the table to pick up your packet by giving your number as they check your ID. Next off to the Jerseys. You show your packet and it is there for you. Then the same for the goodie bag. The bags were very nice duffel bags in all their Gran Fondo glory with some nice goodies inside including a bottle of wine. I signed in on the board to make it official. It felt awesome knowing that there would be thousands of other names up there with mine.

Next to the vendors.

There were vendor from manufactures to retailers to even a bed company.  I enjoyed spending some time at Mavic checking out their helmets.  I found that after looking at all the manufactures of helmets that day the Mavic Plasma will be my next one.  It fit perfect and was very comfortable.  Got to see som cool stuff like the new Campy Electronic shifting too.  The tour companies were very tempting.  How wouldn’t it be to be wine and dined on a cycling trip in Italy.  I picked up a few treats including some tasty baked goods, Some GFNY Merch: a hat and socks, and a pair of compression socks.  Then I set off home very excited for Sunday.

The Gran Fondo is Here!

Sunday morning we left at 4:30.  Crazy Early I know.  We needed to be on the bridge by 6:15 to play it safe.  We parked in Fort Lee wich turned out being a 5 mi ride to the start.  We got are bikes prepped in the lot and already I had a flat!  What kind of day is this going to be?  Changed the tube.  Set out and BOOM the bead popped off blowing that tube.  I borrowed a tube from my buddy Dino and double checked everything this time and was good to go.  We got to the start with no problem and had a little time to spare.  Good thing we left early!

The Start

They had us in corrals of 500.  It worked out perfect and everyone was excited.  There were some announcements, the National anthem and then….

Ready

Set

Go!

The Ride was awesome!  The climbs were challenging and I know they pushed me.  I feel I could have pushed a little harder on Bear Mountain but I was concerned about blowing up before the other two timed climbs.  We even skipped a rest stop and went to our own for a slice of pizza.  The hill right after I call Colle Pizza.  We had a nice paceline going with my group and had some fun with that.

Now for the Video!

It was a great day and it was nice that my family came to the finish.  We had some pasta and I got a bucket of bike cleaning products and lubricants from Finish Line.  We took some pictures and enjoyed the music.

I would like to thank

  • GFNY for putting on such a great event
  • Graeme Street from Cyclocore for the great training program
  • Grimauldo from Legends Bikes for setting me up when my frame failed and got me back up in 3 days
  • Most of all I would like to thank my family for their support and patience throughout the training time

Here is a short video update right after the last one.  As you can see it was extremly tough!

 

Yesterday was great! We were set to roll out for a 85mi group ride to the top of Bear Mountain and all of a sudden I heard a loud pop. Guess what. It was my tire! Nelson the owner of strictly bicycles called to me,”give me your wheel and a tube”. I ran in and bought an extra tube for the ride. I got out and he handed me the wheel. I couldn’t believe how fast he changed the tube. The group rolled off so I had to catch up. Luckily I did. I was pushing 25 mph just starting off. I was worried about burning a match right at the beginning. But I was fine for the ride. We rode about 37 mi and came to the road for the beast. (Bear Mountain) I stayed in a low gear and spun most of the way up. Just toward the top I had to stand up as the gradient got in the double digits. I expected it to be a lot worse and felt good when I got to the top. The ride back was good but I got into talking with another rider and we got dropped. What came next was an all out effort to catch the lead group. It took a few miles to catch them but we stopped at a cafe and had an amazing espresso.

The Ride on Strava

This ride was my test for fueling for the Gran Fondo. My fueling was powered by “The Feed Zone” cookbook. I started with Biju’s oatmeal in the morning and a rice cake when I got to the ride. Each stop I had a rice cake and drank skratch exceed use drink on the bike. Nothing was overly sweet and my energy was great overall. As long as I have time to prepare the rice cakes in the future that will be my fueling strategy.
Everything was easy to prepare and great tasting. For dinner I made the roasted chicken with vegetables and rustic pepper and tomato soup.

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Tonight for dinner I used the roasted chicken and made burritos out of it by making the salsa and adding cumin and chilli powder to the chicken. Yum. Then dessert. Chocolate bread pudding topped with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream.

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First GFNY Training Ride

Posted: April 30, 2012 in training
Tags: , ,

Yesterday was an interesting day. I set out with the Gran Fondo NY group ride with the B pace group. Wow there were a lot of people. In our group I would say there was around 50 riders. With such a large group there was no problem finding a draft. That made it easier.
This was my first big ride if the year. Before this one my biggest was 40 miles. This ride was about double. We hit two of the timed climbs. The last 4 miles my Garmin shut off so that was my cue for recovery mode. I was already hurting any way.
The worst was when I stopped and went to get in my car. That’s when I felt everything.
I definitely needed this ride. I need one more and I should be ready.

So after my first block and rest week of Cyclo 90 in- season.  It was time to retest.  My original Functional Threshold Heart Rate was 170 BPM and I figured out my zones from there.  A month later I did the test even though I felt a little worn down and stressed.  The test itself went well. I felt good during it and was chalenged for the last 3 minutes to keep up. I may have had a little more gas to start off a little harder because my last minute was strong.

Drumroll Please

My average speed went down by 2%

My average Heart rate went down 3%

From my calculations I was 1% more efficient.

So I am getting there.  Like I said I felt that i could have maybe started with a faster pace to bring those numbers up.  We will see what happens next month.  I’ll repeat the test a week after the Gran Fondo.

This past Saturday I was all set to go on a nice 75 mile club ride.  This was going to be my first club ride this year and I was excited to see many people that I haven’t seen since last year.  I prepped everything the night before.

  • Clothes check
  • Nutrition check
  • Water check
  • Spare tube check
  • Car packed check
  • Bike rack installed check

The morning of I got ready loaded up my bike and was ready to go.  Well here is the story where it all changes.  I start driving on the highway and notice my front wheel is moving on the rack.  Well I forgot to strap the front wheel to the downtube.  The worst think is I left the strap on top of my trunk.  That is lost on the highway.  Then I get to the park that I think we were meeting wrong park.  I get to the right park and sign in.  Ok now I am finally there.  I top off my tires and the rear leaks at the valve stem.  There goes my extra tube.  I change the rear tube.  Now I am ready to go.  We go roll out but not so fast.  My rear brake doesn’t feel right.  I get off and take a look.  It is wide open, I check the quick release open.  Then I go to close it and it is really hard.  I then notice the bracket for my rear brake cable has broken off of my frame.  Ride is now cancelled.  It was not worth of the chance of getting killed by riding with a bad rear brake.  I load back up and head home nervous and upset.  Stress level was through the roof because I am wondering the worst about repair or replacement costs.  I go straight to my bike shop and we talk about it for a while and he thinks it shouldn’t be a problem for warranty.  We disassemble the bike and wait till monday to call the manufacturer.  Monday afternoon great news!  I get an email asking for my size so they can get it started by sending a new frame.  I guess next week is another week.  Good thing this is a scheduled rest week.  I hope that my bike will be together by monday.  I have a zone 4 test that day and start my final 3 week training block and 1 week taper for my goal event of the year.  Gran Fondo New York.

Today I was trying to get out to train all day. I was looking forward to getting outside on the bike as I haven’t been out in a few days due to schedule and weather.  I wound getting caught up in a project all day consisting of putting a plywood floor in my attic and reorganizing the whole thing.  Man my knees were killing me after that from kneeling on the plywood all day.  Then off to work at 5:00.  The nice think was I was able to ride to work with the Wishful Thinking That I would train on the ride home.

Well got out and off to a good start.  Tackled the hill from work no problem actual the second best time up it.  Then easy ride home to drop off my stuff and out on the road.  I went to my starting point and hit it.  I noticed very quickly how fatigued I was feeling then looked down and saw my heart rate zone.  5.2  Then I knew I was burning out.  Last week the same section only had me at zone 4.  By the time I completed the mile I was shot.  I probably coud have done one more set but I didn’t want to compromise tomorrows workout.  Plus it was dark and I was feeling a little nervous with the cars on the road.

One thing I have learned from other aspects of my life is if you have a nervous feeling do what you need to feel calm again.  If I went down a car would not have seen me and I would not be here writing right now.  My tag line is you can always push a little harder. Tonight I didn’t follow that due to safety and not wanting to compromise tomorrow. Tomorrow will be well worth it with single speed strength breakthrough and a Muscle Endurance Weight session.

Going to enjoy a little time by the fire pit with my BOL.

Signing off

Ron

http://cyclo-core.com/c90/rongarofalo

Staying strong in the drops is one of the tough things for my.  I am mor of a hoods kind of guy when I have a lot of tension in the gears.  But, a wise man said the lower you are the more your peddaling power actually counts.  So today I trained with high tension in the aero position.  It started off great but as I progressed I found that my cadence was dropping.  I think I over geared a little too much from the start.  Somehow I made it through the whole 30 minutes eventhough the last minute felt like an eternity.  Every time I looked down only 10 seconds passed.  To top it off my son is in his bouncer next to me laughing his but off mocking my suffering.  I think that got me though it because it forced me to step back and laugh too.  Here is a quick video of the aftermath.

http://cyclo-core.com/c90/rongarofalo